The Anti-Explainers

“The Anti-Explainers” (2012-2015) is a collection of experiments and interventions performed while in residence at the Exploratorium’s Center for Art and Inquiry in San Francisco, including the public artwork “DAYLAY” (2013-2014), an interactive audio installation on The Embarcadero that captured sounds to be played back after a twelve-hour delay.

The Exploratorium’s “Explainers” program has been an integral part of the museum’s identity from the start – a core group of young people with a diverse range of interests and backgrounds who interact with visitors, perform demonstrations, and act as role models within a process of open inquiry. Neither audience nor institution, Explainers build understanding through practice, trying things out to see what is possible. Do artists build understanding in the same way, by learning in public? Perhaps the order of operations is reversed – artists may dismantle understanding, problematizing and expanding the limits placed on knowledge. There are many “ifs”. For now, let’s consider artists as the Anti-Explainers, a corollary, and a necessary response, to the Explainers.

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